In what could only be described as the best thing to happen in 2017 thus far, Norway have announced that they will be opening an underwater restaurant. And yes, this means you will get to dine with the fishes.
Designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, it will be Europe’s first underwater restaurant.
The restaurant, dubbed Under (because it’s underwater; must have taken them a long time to come up with that one) will be half-submerged in the sea along the rugged shoreline of Lindesnes, near the village of Båly, on the southern tip of Norway.
The structure rests on the seabed five metres below the surface, and has been built to withstand Norway’s often stormy sea conditions. Thick plexiglass windows, much like that in an aquarium, will give diners a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons.
Due to Under being submerged in the ocean it was important for materials to be chosen for their sustainability, as well as their aesthetic qualities. The exterior is covered in a rough concrete shell designed to provide a surface for mussels to cling to, which over time will become an artificial mussel reef that will help to purify the local ocean environment.
Restaurant goers will have the opportunity to learn about the history of marine biodiversity along the Norwegian coast, as they walk up the entrance path, lined with information plaques.
Once inside, diners descend through three levels. First the tide pools at the entrance, then down one level to the champagne bar (this is where the transition is made from shoreline and ocean) and finally reaching the restaurant. This is the seabed level, where tables are placed in front of a panoramic window measuring 11 metres by 4 metres.
Nicolai Ellitsgaard will be the head chef and he plans to cook with locally sourced and foraged ingredients. The restaurant will also welcome interdisciplinary research teams who wish to use the space to study marine biology, and will be asked to help create optimal conditions on the seabed to help fish and shellfish thrive.
Unfortunately, Under isn’t due to open until the first quarter of 2019, but at least you’ve got plenty of time to save for that ticket to Norway.